Local dancer Shelby Lee Olmsted is heading to New York City this summer to dance with the world-renowned Radio City Rockettes dance team.
She has been accepted to their Summer Intensive dance camp starting later this month.
Olmsted, 15, who will enter Grade 11 at Chatham-Kent Secondary School in the fall, is “very excited” to attend the camp. She’s been a fan of the high-kicking Rockettes for years.
“I went to New York last year with a school trip. We got to meet one of the Rockettes. I watch the Rockettes whenever I can,” she said.
Olmsted went to an audition with the dance team in Detroit in May and it was there she qualified for the intensive camp, which takes place July 27-29 in New York City.
“She is so excited. She would not be doing this or be the dancer/performer in musicals, and young lady she is if not for her PURE coaches and family. We appreciate them more than they will ever know,” Olmsted’s father Nick said in a media release.
Olmsted looks forward to learning from the Rockettes.
“At the intensive camp, we’ll be learning some of the Rockettes’ routines. A few of the Rockettes will actually be teaching us,” she said. “We’ll be learning some of their routines that make them such strong dancers.”
A trademark of the Rockettes are their extremely high leg kicks, something Olmsted said are called “eye-high kicks.
“I’m pretty good with kicks. I’m very excited to be able to go and try it with them,” she said.
Olmsted, who has been dancing since the age of three, said while the Rockettes camp is three days long, she and her mother will head to New York for a week. They hope to visit several museums and get in some shopping as well.
Outside of the studio, PURE offers opportunities for its students. These include touring with Education Arts Canada, performing for professional groups, and amazing dance conventions across North America. Dance conventions offer intensive, one-of-a-kind classes with the opportunity to earn various scholarships that invite dancers to take part in events across the U.S. and Canada.
Last month, two PURE students, Corson Fraleigh and Jaiden Lyons, took part in National Finals events in Los Angeles and South Carolina from the scholarships they received in Chicago and Dearborn earlier this year.
This month, three PURE dancers, Kambri-anne Gowman, Larissa Bedford and Dakota Borland, will set off to intensive camps and national finals events on scholarship from conventions completed earlier this year.